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Advice on getting involved in other organisers' Audaxes

Image © Charles WhiteAn Audax is a non-competitive challenge ride that has to be completed within a certain time limit. People start together, but cover the course at their own pace. For more information about what the events are like, read 'What is an Audax?' and 'What's the difference between an Audax and a cyclosportive?'

Audaxes are organised under the rules of Audax UK, which you can find on AUK's website. Anyone can enter an Audax: you don't have to be a member of AUK, or an affiliated club, or anything like that. However, if you aren't already a member of an organisation that provides third-party insurance (e.g. AUK, CTC or BC), you'll have to pay a small extra charge on top of your basic entry fee, so that you have appropriate cover during the event. Except where certain ultra-endurance events are concerned, no requirements are made regarding previous performances: you don't have to demonstrate that you've already done anything similar. Nevertheless, it's probably not a good idea to enter an event that's a lot longer or harder than anything you've ever done before.

If you want to ride an Audax, the place to start is the calendar of events that AUK publishes on its website and in printed form. You'll find events listed all over the country: most of them involve routes of between 100 and 600 kilometres, usually using rural lanes through attractive countryside. Some organisers give brief descriptions of their events, which are included in the calendar to help you select a ride that suits you. If no information is given, you can usually phone or e-mail to get details. Other Beacon members can often give you useful info about an event as well: ask on the message board. If you fancy doing a ride with a few pals, you can also use the message board to see what other people are planning or invite others to join you at a particular event.

Choose an event that's two weeks or more away (there are not usually formal closing dates, but organisers do like a bit of notice). Next, complete the standard AUK entry form. This needs to be sent to the organiser (whose address is given in the events calendar), along with a cheque to cover your entry fee, plus temporary membership fee where applicable. You also need to send two stamped envelopes with your own address on them. These are supposed to be C5 (the size that will take a sheet of A4 paper folded over once), but organisers aren't usually too fussy. The organiser will use one of the envelopes to send you route details and so forth before the ride, and the other to send you a validated brevet card about a month later, showing that you've completed the event.

Once you've got your route details, you're all ready to go. But if you're new to Audaxing, you may find it helpful to read our 'Tips for taking part in challenge rides'.


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